Celebration of the Three Kings

3 kings

Three Kings Day or the Feast of Epiphany is the final celebration with which the 12 days of Christmas ends on January 6.

On the evening of January 5 each year, Spanish towns host impressive colourful parades to mark the Dia de los Reyes, or the Kings’ Day. This is a celebration of the arrival of the Three Wise Men in Bethlehem after Jesus’ birth.

The “men,” Melchior (from Arabia), Caspar (from the Orient) and Balthazar (from Africa) process down a town’s roads, throwing out handfuls of sweets to children (and adults) lining the route. The parades usually happen early evening so young children can watch them before going to bed.

The three kings or wise men perform the same role as Santa Claus at Christmas. By tradition children leave a cleaned pair of shoes outside their doors for the nocturnal kings to fill with gifts.

January 6 is an important public holiday in Spain and a family day in which everyone comes together to watch the children unwrap their second ‘sack’ of presents in as many weeks!

Much food and drink is consumed during the day and tradition has it that a cake, called the Roscon de Reyes, has inside it a plastic little king or queen and whoever finds it is ‘monarch’ for the day, meaning they are entitled to be waited on hand and foot!